Three insights into the bankruptcy of FC Bayern in Mainz: a broken engine room and a ray of light

It was not just the defensive problems that persisted throughout the season that ruined the championship celebration in Mainz for Bayern. The 1: 2 bankruptcy showed the general tiredness. Especially the “engine room” of Joshua Kimmich and Co. looked worn out. Nevertheless, there was a ray of hope. Three lessons about the game.

In Mainz, Hansi Flick’s team conceded their number 39 and 40 goals – not for the first time in a completely avoidable way. That was the last time the Munich team ended up in a historically weak tenth place in the 1991/92 season. The difference to today? They didn’t have such strong offensive players in their ranks.

The Bayern attack in 2021 around the towering Robert Lewandowski was there for long stretches of the season when the defense had previously looked bad. This plan did not work out in Mainz. On the one hand, because the opponent fought for every inch from the first to the last minute. On the other hand, because Bayern whistled out of the last hole after more than a year of non-stop football.

In round one alone, the Mainz team ran almost four kilometers more with 59.8 kilometers and won 55 percent of their duels. Coach Flick showed understanding: “If I take the last few weeks, months and almost the whole year, then you can understand when the team seems a little tired now and then.”

1. FC Bayern is tired – especially its engine room

Goretzka experienced the second half as a spectator. But David Alaba, who was brought forward by Flick to the position next to Kimmich, looked just as sluggish. The same was true for Thomas Müller, another perennial favorite from Flick, who was barely able to move forward in the game.

“The way we took and carried the ball was always half a second slower than on other courses,” said Müller. “That then closes the rooms for you. And Mainz passionately defended it away.”

From Bayern’s point of view, it is good that a win in the other three games against Borussia Mönchengladbach, SC Freiburg and FC Augsburg is enough to bring the championship under wraps. Players like Kimmich, Goretzka, Alaba and Müller are at their limit and urgently need more breaks, especially with a view to the European Championship.

Flick has plenty of alternatives, at least on paper. The 56-year-old only seems to have confidence in youngster Jamal Musiala, who has already proven his ability as a playmaker several times. Newcomer Marc Roca and veteran Javi Martinez, who is on a farewell tour, who had to be admonished by fitness trainer Holger Broich in Mainz during the second half because he did not warm up with his colleagues despite being asked, do not play a serious role in Flicks (anymore) Plans.

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